About

While serving 2,400 students, Monett School District’s academic performance has improved steadily overall in recent years. However, key populations of students in the southern Missouri district continued to struggle despite various intervention plans. Superintendent Brad Hanson and Assistant Superintendent Mike Dawson recognized that being able to more effectively use data would be the key to take the next step.

The Need

Each year the challenge for Monett School District administrators became more apparent. As a smaller district Hanson and Dawson felt hamstrung by the amount of resources and personnel time that effective data management required. Both administrators are self-proclaimed “data geeks,” but it took a lot of their own time to format data in Excel so that administrators and teachers could use it. Also, the detail data the state provided on how students performed on certain standards or even specific state assessment (MAP and EOC) questions was very minute. But the district didn’t have any way to aggregate the data in order to relate it to struggling students or even classes of students.

The Solution

That’s where AllofE’s Matrix data-warehousing and dashboard system came in. A main goal of Matrix is to reduce the technical burden of resources and time – especially for smaller to mid-size districts – allowing administrators and teachers to use that time to analyze data and create academic strategies on how to improve student performance. Developers began working with Monett administrators in late 2012 to import various types of the district’s predictor, state and College Ready assessment data, and tied them to Monett’s student information data to allow for that aggregation at various levels.

The Results

Dawson said one of the first district leadership team’s meetings using Matrix was eye-opening. It allowed them to identify problem areas for a certain population of students.
“Then we just threw out the intervention strategy we had come up with to target that group of students because the data was telling us something else,” Dawson said. “It was a very powerful tool.”
Within a few clicks, educators quickly zeroed in on a pocket of state assessment questions from 2012-13 that a group of intermediate school students struggled with. Those low scores really impacted the district’s overall score. Administrators had known these students were struggling, but they weren’t able to find exactly what types of questions and skills the students were struggling with. Matrix gave them the tools necessary to quickly identify those key improvement areas and do so quickly and easily.

Dawson also said Matrix has been really important as they move towards a “more than just the MAP score” approach.

“Then we just threw out the intervention strategy we had come up with to target that group of students because the data was telling us something else,” Dawson said. “It was a very powerful tool.”